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Tropical Geometry Approach to Shortest Paths with Parameterized Arc Weights - A Case Study in Public Transportation Networks

  • In graphical representations of public transportation networks, there is often some degree of uncertainty in the arc values, due to delays or transfer times. This uncertainty can be expressed as a parameterized weight on the transfer arcs. Classical shortest path algorithms often have difficulty handling parameterized arc weights and a tropical geometry approach has been shown as a possible solution. The connection between the classical shortest path problem and tropical geometry is well establish: Tropically multiplying the n × n adjacency matrix of a graph with itself n − 1 times results in the so-called Kleene star, and is a matrix-form solution to the all-pairs shortest path problem. Michael Joswig and Benjamin Schröter showed in their paper The Tropical Geometry of Shortest Paths that the same method can be used to find the solution to the all-pairs shortest path problem even in the case of variable arc weights and they proposed an algorithm to solve the single-target shortest path problem in such a case. The solution takes the form of a polyhedral subdivision of the parameter space. As the number of variable arc weights grows, the time needed to execute an implementation of this algorithm grows exponentially. As the size of a public transportation network grows, the number of variable arc weights grows exponentially as well. However, it has been observed that in public transportation networks, there are usually only a few possible shortest routes. Geometrically, this means that there should be few polyhedra in the polyhedral subdivision. This algorithm is used on an example of a real-world public transportation network and an analysis of the polyhedral subdivision is made. Then a geometrical approach is used to analyze the impact of limiting the number of transfers, and thereby limiting the number of parameterized arcs used, as an estimation of the solution to the all-pairs shortest path problem

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Author:Erin Henning
Document Type:Master's Thesis
CCS-Classification:J. Computer Applications
Granting Institution:Freie Universität Berlin
Advisor:Rainer Sinn, Niels Lindner
Date of final exam:2020/10/19
Year of first publication:2020
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